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IVF Acupuncture - How Can We Help
Acupuncture for IVF Support
Couples who have been struggling to conceive a child on their own often seek out IVF treatments because they help to ensure that that a woman's egg is fertilised before the embryo transfer takes place. This form of fertility and pregnancy treatment is especially helpful in cases when the man has a low sperm count or the woman has a health condition where she does not ovulate frequently enough. IVF treatments are very expensive though because a fertility specialist has to carefully harvest the eggs and sperm from the couple, combine them in a laboratory, and then implant them into the uterus. Sometimes, they also have to store the eggs and sperm for long periods of time while other health issues that are causing the fertility problems are being treated. On top of this, the hefty price-tag that goes along with the procedure may be increased if problems occur with the embryo transfer, so the IVF cycle has to be repeated several times before the implantation is a success. Luckily, there are some useful complementary therapies that can help though, such as acupuncture.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient form of traditional Chinese medicine. In order to use it, trained specialists place long, thin needles carefully into the skin at specific acupuncture points of the body. Most people describe the sensation as only a “pinch” when the needles go in because of the care that is used to ensure the patient's comfort during the process.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
There are many theories as to how acupuncture works in its ability to aid in the treatment of pain, disease, reducing stress, and improving the chances of having a baby. Some researchers say that when the needles are inserted into the skin, they press on the nerves. This, in turn, stimulates the release of neurohormones, such as endorphins, to be released by the body, which help reduce the amount of stress hormones and inflammation that a person has. For acupuncture treatments to be the most effective, they have to be used for a prolonged period of time though. A person cannot expect to receive the full benefits after just one session. This, however, does not mean that one session does not make an impact on the body. Many patients notice a remarkable improvement in their stress levels after their first visit.
How is Acupuncture Used to Treat Women Undergoing Fertility Treatment?
Many leading fertility specialists recommend the use of acupuncture treatments and other types of complementary therapies that trigger the acupuncture points of the body to women undergoing IVF support because they have been proven to increase the chances of having a baby by up to 65 percent. They have to be used in a specific way though. First of all, a woman must begin the acupuncture months in advance of beginning their IVF cycle. Shortly thereafter, they can start their IVF support, which often includes the use of special injections and hormones to prepare the body for the embryo transfer. This timing has to be carefully done because it helps increase the blood flow to the reproductive organs while reducing stress.
Can Men Use Acupuncture to Improve Their Fertility Too?
Interestingly enough, this type of Chinese medicine doesn't have to be used only on women. Men who want to increase their fertility and have a higher birth rate with their partner can have the procedure done before they donate sperm for the conception process. It seems to help them increase their chances of having a baby in the same way that it does women though, which is by improving the blood flow to their inner and outer reproductive organs. So some men may also notice an improvement in conditions that have a major impact on fertility and pregnancy, such as erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, or a low sperm count.
Who Can Have Acupuncture for IVF Support Done?
Acupuncture is one of the safest natural health treatments that a leading fertility specialist will suggest that a person have done as long as it is performed in a safe, clean environment by an acupuncture specialist who is specially trained in it. The only time that it can cause any risk or injury is if someone who has no prior knowledge or experience in it tries to use it outside of a clinic since this could cause an infection or damage to the skin from the potential improper placement of the needles. Because of this, any woman of any age who wants to increase their chances of having a higher birth rate from their fertility treatment can have the procedure done.
What Else Can Acupuncture Treat?
Besides using acupuncture along with the treatment given by a fertility specialist to increase their chances of in vitro fertilisation working faster, it is also very effective for those who just need help with their stress levels. In fact, many people who are struggling with depression and anxiety because they have stressful jobs, family issues, or relationship problems turn to this procedure when they want to have help in improving their mood without the use of prescription medications that have dangerous side effects. As mentioned above, acupuncture also works great for relieving pain in the joints and muscles. And it can relieve some of the nausea and other negative side effects of chemotherapy that cancer patients have to endure.
As you can see, acupuncture is a simple procedure that is a safe and effective option to use in the process of helping couples to conceive a child. It should only be performed by a trained acupuncturist though because those who don't understand the proper way to place the needles could cause more harm than good. So if you or someone you know has been struggling with many failed attempts of in vitro fertilisation, or you just want to make sure that the first time works like a charm, contact our acupuncture clinic today to make an appointment. We can work with your fertility doctor to come up with the right leading fertility plan that is specially tailored to your needs.
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1. Hullender Rubin, Lee E., Michael S. Opsahl, Lisa Taylor-Swanson, and Deborah L. Ackerman. "Acupuncture and In Vitro Fertilization: A Retrospective Chart Review." The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (2013).
2. Exploration of clinical regularities in acupuncture-moxibustion treatment for infertility. Qin-feng Huang. JOURNAL OF ACUPUNCTURE AND TUINA SCIENCE Volume 10, Number 2. (2012), 72-76, DOI: 10.1007/s11726-012-0574-0.
3. Electroacupuncture enhances spermatogenesis in rats after scrotal heat treatment. Volume 2, Issue 1. 3-2012. Pages 53 - 62. Jing Gao, Yan Zuo, Kam-Hei So, William S.B. Yeung, Ernest H.Y. Ng and Kai-Fai Lee.
4. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012, 12:88 doi 10.1186/1472-6882-12-88. 7 July 2012. Development of an acupuncture treatment protocol by consensus for women undergoing Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) treatment. Caroline A Smith, Suzanne Grant, Jane Lyttleton and Suzanne Cochrane.
5. Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2012 Feb;32(2):113-6. Effects of electroacupuncture on embryo implanted potential for patients with infertility of different symptom complex]. Kong FY, Zhang QY, Guan Q, Jian FQ, Sun W, Wang Y. Department of Reproduction, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Shandong University of TCM, Jinan, China.
6. Fertil Steril. 2005 Jan;83(1):30-6. Secretion of human leukocyte antigen-G by human embryos is associated with a higher in vitro fertilization pregnancy rate. Yie SM, Balakier H, Motamedi G, Librach CL.